Potential Impact of Submarine Power Cables on Crab Harvest

Conference Paper

Title: Potential Impact of Submarine Power Cables on Crab Harvest
Publication Date:
February 01, 2016
Conference Name: American Geophysical Union, Ocean Sciences Meeting 2016
Conference Location: New Orleans, LA, USA
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Citation

Bull, A.; Nishimoto, M. (2016). Potential Impact of Submarine Power Cables on Crab Harvest. Paper Presented at the American Geophysical Union, Ocean Sciences Meeting 2016, New Orleans, LA, USA.
Abstract: 

Offshore renewable energy installations convert wave or wind energy to electricity and transfer the power to shore through transmission cables laid on or buried beneath the seafloor. West coast commercial fishermen, who harvest the highly prized Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) and the rock crab (Cancer spp.), are concerned that the interface of crabs and electromagnetic fields (EMF) from these cables will present an electrified fence on the seafloor that their target resource will not cross. Combined with the assistance of professional fishermen, submarine transmission cables that electrify island communities and offshore oil platforms in the eastern Pacific provide an opportunity to test the harvest of crab species across power transmission cables. In situ field techniques give commercial crab species a choice to decide if they will cross fully energized, EMF emitting, power transmission cables, in response to baited traps. Each independent trial is either one of two possible responses: the crab crosses the cable to enter a trap (1) or the crab does not cross the cable to enter a trap (0). Conditions vary among sample units by the following categorical, fixed factors (i.e., covariates) of cable structure (buried or unburied); direction of cable from crab position (west or east, north or south); time and season. A generalized linear model is fit to the data to determine whether any of these factors affect the probability of crabs crossing an energized cable to enter baited traps. Additionally, the experimental design, aside from the number of runs (set of sample trials) and the dates of the runs, is the same in the Santa Barbara Channel for rock crab and Puget Sound for Dungeness crab, and allows us to compare the capture rates of the two species in the two areas. We present preliminary results from field testing in 2015.

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